After 1 hour and 19 minutes on the blower with these cats, we think we’ve got the recipe for swinging success in the festival scene down pat:
Distill the larrikin humour of those two guys in year 10 who always made your SOSE teacher laugh at highly inappropriate times
Gently whisk a disproportionate amount of musical talent
Fold the funkiest sampling you’ve ever encountered into the mix
Add a dash of theatrics
Garnish with flamboyant rainbow jackets. Add sequins to taste.
Ta da! You’ve got yourself a fat serving of the tastiest treat in town: Mood Swing & Chevy Bass!
They’ve done Boomtown, an international tour, all your fave local festivals, and now they’re coming to the one and only Elements Festival!
Read our little chit chat and you’ll know why we’re frothing like a DeLonghi to see Nick & Dizzy play next month…
DL: OK boys, let’s start with something easy. How did you come up with your names?
D: When I came back from my last big travel, I discovered electro swing music, artists like Parov Stelar, and I thought, “This is gonna be my niche. I’m gonna play glitch and electro swing and call myself Mood Swing”
N: I had ten names which I put to my friends on Facebook to vote, and Chevy Bass (derivative of Chevy Chase) was what they chose. My other names included Doperah Spinfrey (Which is now taken), Jive Palmer, Spin Diesel, David Phattenborough….they were all piss takes of something.
DL: How would you describe your sound right now?
N: Funky in the front, filthy in the back …I’ve used that before, but it’s totally still relevant.
D: I often fill out festival applications and they ask us to describe our sound and I waste ages of time trying to describe it. Mate, that right there, that’s perfect.
DL: I notice you’ve hit pretty much every festival we’ve covered in the last few years – what’s your festival tally?
D: We literally have played every festival in Australia that we’ve wanted to attend or play.
N: There’s maybe three that we haven’t’ ticked off yet which would be Rainbow, Dragon Dreaming and Strawberry Fields.
D: I would say we would have played at least 20-30 in the last three years. From here to the end of the year we’re playing Mushroom Valley, Elements, Island Vibes, Jungle Love, Bohemian BeatFreaks, Subsonic, Violet Vibes and a secret New Years Show.
DL: Do you remember your first doof?
D: My first doof was probably one of those forest parties with the fams in Mullumbimby, but my proper first doof was Manifest 2011. Basically as soon as I went there I went, “Holy shit! These are the festivals where I belong at!” I rarely did a mainstream festival after that, I never really turned back
N: The first doof I played Soul … Soul… fuck. I think it was called… lemme have a look. It was called Soulstice or Souls Sister or something? I don’t fucking know.
DL: Where did your infamous outfits come from?
D: The corporal rainbow jackets came from the UK. Our latest sort of fancy jackets they were custom-made by a friend Kaidee who has a label in Byron called Kultcha Collective – she makes amazing clothes! Our hats are custom made from our friend Eliza from Features for Creatures
The sparkly sequin jackets we wore to Rabbits a couple of years ago are from Supre. I went and got the last two extra large ones.
We’ve also got some travel velvet jackets – they’re from Sportsgirl haha, and our first matching jackets they were from Ebay – China.
DL: Whose hat is dirtier?
D: It’s definitely got to be me considering all the shit that’s hanging off the back of it. People feel the need to hang shit off there.
After the last festival I went to, I came back with someone’s lost dreadlock attached to it, and the one after that it was a used tea bag. It was a fancy tea though, you know infused pear with lavender. I’m not an animal. I’m not going to fuck around with no Dilmah.
DL : Loosest unit you’ve seen at a show?
N: We played a little doof out at Chinchilla a few months ago called “The Purge”. It was a small doof put on by some young legends who asked us to headline and we thought, “Yeah fuck it, let’s do it.”
So we were playing and it’s… you know, it’s pretty loose. Then out of the left side of the stage this naked dude just walks onto the stage next to us. He’s absolutely cooked out of his canastas! He sort of looked at us, then looked out at the crowd, and at first we thought that’s pretty fucking hilarious. We were pissing ourselves laughing.
There was no security at this festival and soon people were like, “You gotta get off the stage!”.
Well, he could have got off using either the back exit or the two side exits, but he sort of froze like an animal and made a split-second decision to take the most obvious course of action – jumping off the front of the stage. Unfortunately, he tripped on the camouflage netting on the stage and, with his foot caught in a hole, he fell about a meter and half with his crotch landing squarely on this poor small girl’s face. Her face broke the fall of his dick.
D: You could see his thought process before he did it, and when he got caught in the camo I could see this small girl underneath him go “Nooooooo!” We were kinda like still trying to play our set, but we also wanted to know what happened. The girl was OK, he was OK, everyone had a laugh about it in the end. We should have filmed it.
N: Then, hours later, I was sitting down after our set and this guy comes up to me and was like, “Yeah really good set man! What do you guys charge for a set?” and I turned to look at him and realised who it was. I said, “Hey aren’t you the naked dude?!” He just said, “Yeah, sorry about that.” as nonchalant as can be. I guess his gear had worn off by then.
DL: Had any embarrassing moments yourselves that you’re still trying to live down?
Nick and Dizzy look at each other with knowing eyes. The words “pre-Rabbits” are mentioned. One signals to the other using the classic hand-to-neck “icksnay on the abbitsray” gesture.
D: There’s something about pre-Rabbits, but unfortunately all these stories are not safe for print. Let’s just say, we had some of our most intimate moments there.
DL: Ok then, may I ask you this: How many of each other’s bodily secretions have each of you dealt with over the years?
Both (emphatically): All of them.
N: Oooh… hmmm… yeah, nah. All of them.
DL: Have you ever fucked up on stage?
D: When we first started, you’d fuck up and you’d worry about, where as now we laugh about it because it’s the only thing you can do.
N:Even now, I can’t count the amount of times there’s a technical difficulty. Whether it’s the instruments or the song that stops playing. My keytar gets unplugged all the time.
D:At one of our most prolific sets at Happy Daze I remember that everyone was frothing, cheering, ready to roll, and we go to press play and there’s this high pitch deafening noise blaring out of the speakers. We didn’t know what to do for a solid minute of this ear-piercing screech. It turns out it was a fault with their mixer, but still… a real vibe kill.
DL: Describe your ideal audience to me? What do you want to see at Elements?!
N: Crowd participation! A big part of our show works on crowd participation – doof aerobics! We’ve actually got some new interactive theatrics for this festival season that we’re unleashing.
D: If you participate in those portions of the set, that will make it more enjoyable for us.
N: Just get down and dirty!
DL: Do you have any advice for aspiring DJs or keytarists?
D: It’s never too late! We’re not in our twenties any more. It took a long time for us to get where we are and we could have easily given up on the journey at any time, and here we are in our 30s and probably doing way more than we ever thought possible. Young people think they’ve tried and failed or aren’t where they want to be, and that’s not true. Unless you’re like, fifty and living in West End.
N: Follow your dreeeaams. Listen to lots of people. You’ll love it. And if you can’t be inspired, give up. Oh wait, what was the question again? Oh yeah, just do it because you actually fuckin love it. Don’t do what is ‘cool’. Whatever feels good for you to do – enjoy it and do it passionately. We do it with fuckloads of passion, fuckloads of energy, fuckloads of fun and that rubs off on people. Its a chain reaction, and then they love it as well.
D: One quote we tell people struggling to perform in front of crowds or trying to get stage presence: If you’re having fun, they’re having fun. People always comment on our stage presence and the reason is we’re having fun and loving what we’re doing.
N: Get heavily involved in your scene. How we started getting gigs was that we were running events, parties, warehouse parties. If it doesn’t exist, create it. Volunteer at festivals. Give your time for free to get into the scene and support the scene. Because in the alternative electronic music scene, people don’t make a lot of money.
D: The reason we got together is because I volunteered at someone else’s party where I met another DJ who invited me to another party and that was our first gig together. Then we met the right people there and it exploded.
DL: Which one of you has the most annoying habit?
N: Mine are that I am always late and my phone is always dead. My electronic devices are constantly out of battery – always on 2%. I like to live life on the edge. And I hate being told what to do.
D: So I guess mine are telling nick what to do, telling him to plug his phone in, always being early. And I am way too good looking and way too talented…. What else are my annoying traits?
N: You’re a bit of a sook sometimes.
D: No I’m not.
DL: Have you two had a lover’s tiff yet?
We’ve been best mates since we were fifteen. We’ve lived together, we’ve worked together. We’ve done lots of things together. Our fights only go for like five minutes. We would spend almost as much time with each other as we do with our girlfriends.
DL: I was going to ask, do your girlfriends ever get bothered by your relationship?
D: Well, they understand that we’ve got our life partners and our heterosexual life partners – we’re all one big happy family.
N: At one stage of our lives we were living together and working together and playing together. The only time we wouldn’t see each other was when he was sleeping with his girlfriend!
D: Shit that’s right. The tiffs are inevitable but all in all we’re pretty good. We see eye to eye on most things but the things we don’t are pretty trivial. Things like, arguing over what jackets we’re going to wear at a show.
N: Yeah, one of us will be like, “No! I don’t want to wear that jacket!”
D: It’s hard though because Nick is always right.
DL: Who is your musical idol and/or guilty pleasure?
N: My musical idol is Prince, my guilty pleasure is 90’s dance music.
D: 90s cheese, 90s hit machine and video hits. That covers all of it. See this? (holds up Hit Machine 13 CD) this sits up on the mantelpiece with the prayer beads from India and the golden buddha from Thailand. And my musical idol would probably be Opiuo.
DL: Who can play the most instruments?
D: Does the kazoo count? No? Ok, I guess Nick can “play” the most.
NL I play piano, drums, percussion, ukulele, sax…
D: I used to play the recorder.
DL: Do you have a message for all the cool cats going to Elements Festival this year?
N: If there was a ‘Best Newcomer Doof’ award it would hands down go to Elements! We were blown away by the level of thought and production the organisers put into their first year and knew that this was a festival that was only going to grow and become a staple on the festival circuit.
We’re also creatures of our environment, most festivals we’ve played we seem to lock down the sunset slot, however this year at Elements we’ll be playing after dark so expect a stronger serving of filth, something spicier to bring out them doof gremlins, something stankier for them bass faces.